On MLK Day, evidence of our racist past

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Our community is proud that the inspirational film Lincoln has a Redding connection. But Shasta County has it’s own less glorious past we must acknowledge. I came across this small glimpse of it while looking over documents for a house just north of Anderson. CC&Rs is a real estate acronym for Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions, which are officially recorded at the courthouse, and run with the deed to the property. Reading Item number 1 for the Clover Acres Subdivision felt like being splashed with cold water.CloverAcres

 

Item number 1 for Clarence and Virginia Campbell was to insure that only whites or Caucasians could  buy, rent, or lease property in their new subdivision. Unless they were servants, maybe.

This was recorded in postwar 1948. 83 years after the adoption of the 13th Amendment so eloquently documented in the movie Lincoln. Just 65 years ago. The lifetime of a man, really. The restriction is illegal now, so made null. But it remains a poignant and telling reminder of our own, not-so-distant past here in Shasta County. Though we are far from the Mason Dixon line, we are not that far from our own racist past.

I recall the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King from the ’60s, from images on our black and white TV. I recall what was said of him by my elders of the day. It wasn’t exclamations of admiration. But growing up in the era of the fight for equal rights has formed me differently. I think it’s important to take this day to reflect on our views of one another. And to recall that our actions echo through time. All of us together in the thin skin of atmosphere that surrounds this third rock from the sun. While I drag this shadowy document into the light today, I expect we shall never celebrate a Clarence and Virginia Campbell Day.

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